Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje, who on Tuesday held a meeting of sugar factories in the cooperative and private sectors generating power from bagasse to purchase power from them to tide over the serious power shortage in the State, said that they had agreed to sell 250 to 300 MW at Rs. 6.50 a unit.

Speaking to The Hindu, the Minister said that since Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission fixes rates for power to be purchased by the Government, there was a need for negotiations.

She also said that Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda had to be consulted before starting any negotiations, which would be done in the next three days.

Ms. Karandlaje said that the Government was getting 150 MW and the sugar factories had been selling around 300 MW to private power companies.

In another effort to reduce the burden on the State grid, she said that she had discussed with the representatives of the industry the issue of rotational weekly holiday for industries in each power zone in the State. Leaders of the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association and the Confederation of Indian Industry who attended the meeting welcomed her proposal.

The Minister said that the industry leaders would hold meetings with the officials of the Energy Department in the next couple of days for fixing the weekly-off day for each zone.

According to sources in the power sector, the generation in sugar mills was seasonal and not all were working to full capacity.

The cane-crushing season has just begun in the southern parts of the State and it was yet to start in the northern districts.

source: thehindu


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